Top Stories of 2014

panti bliss 2014

2014 has been a pretty eventful year for the LGBT community – from homophobes in Spar to a marriage equality referendum announcement, here is a list of The Outmost’s most popular stories of the year.


1. SparGuy


SparGuy, like some kind of Irish gay defender, took social media by storm in November when a man, Colm, posted on Facebook about a homophobic encounter. He was the subject of abuse in his local Spar, from two other patrons, when SparGuy stepped in and refused to serve the two homophobes. Ireland rejoiced and we were reminded that not everyone is an asshole.

2. Same-sex marriage Referendum


July saw the announcement of the Marriage Referendum to be set for Spring 2015. As a result of the referendum announcement, the Yes Equality campaign was launched – the campaign gained support from Colin Farrell and others.

3. Jonah Hill Gay Slur and Apology


22 Jump Street star Jonah Hill was caught up in a controversial gay slur attack on a paparazzi in June of this year. After being vocally attacked by a paparazzi, Hill shouted, “Suck my dick you faggot”. A vocal gay rights supporter, Hill then took to The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to apologise in a powerful and sincere way.

4. Belfast Bakery Refuses to Make Gay Cake


Christian-run Ashers Baking Company refused to make a Bert and Ernie-themed cake for LGBT organisation Queerspace in July. Northern Ireland’s Equality commission advised that the refusal could result in prosecution and it inspired the DUP to introduce a ‘conscience clause’ bill to exempt religious businesses from equality laws.

5. Rose of Tralee Winner Comes Out


Philadelphia Rose Maria Walsh was the outright winner of the Rose of Tralee contest in August and soon after her win, revealed that she is a lesbian. Also, hopefully, she’s still single… Just for our own personal reasons. She then graced the cover of GCN.

6. Conchita Wurst Wins the Eurovision


In a victory for the LGBT community, Conchita Wurst won the Eurovision with a resounding bell, achieving 290 points in May. Her success hasn’t been short-lived – she appeared on The Graham Norton Show, performed at the UN and has released her new single.

7. Scotland Legalises Gay Marriage

scottish couple marry

In February, Scotland became the 17th country in the world to legalise marriage for same-sex couples. The Scottish Parliament passed the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill by 105 votes to 18. December 16 is the official date that same-sex couples will be able to change their relationship status.

8. Laverne Cox is named Glamour Woman of the Year and becomes first trans woman to appear on Time Magazine


The Orange is the New Black star and trans activist was given the prestigious accolade in November. Having been the first trans person to appear on the cover of Time Magazine earlier this year, 2014 was a game-changing year for trans people and much of that is because of Cox.

9. Tim Cook Comes Out


One of the most influential people in technology, Cook came out in October and became, perhaps, the most powerful businessman in the world to do so. Though he had not revealed his sexual orientation to the public previously, he said that he was always open with fellow businessmen, friends and colleagues. He told the world that he was proud to be gay in an inspiring essay.

10. First Same-Sex Marriages in the UK


On March 29 2014, British couples took advantage of the legalisation of gay marriage and married mere seconds after the law came into play in Wales and England.

11. Guinness Pull Out of NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade


Following in the footsteps of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Guinness decided to forgo the NYC parade after their LGBT discrimination. Parade organisers refused to allow LGBT organisations from displaying banners promoting homosexuality. Guinness explained that they support diversity and therefore would not attend the parade. Good on you, Guinness.

12. Facebook Expands Gender Options


In a victory for non-binary gender folk, Facebook added 56 new gender variables to their options page, for people who do not fall within their old categories. In February, not only were gender options added, but also an ability to select preferred pronouns.

13. Pussy Riot Members arrested in Sochi

Russia Pussy Riot

In unsurprising news, two members of Pussy Riot were arrested for ‘theft’, and obviously not for their peaceful protesting in February. They were two of nine others arrested, including Semyon Simonov of the human rights centre Memorial, journalists from Radio Free Europe and the Russian independent daily Novaya Gazeta, and local civil rights activist David Hakim.

14. Gender Recognition Bill Introduced


In January 2014, a Joint Committee on Education and Social Protection recommended lowering the gender recognition age to 16 from 18. Then, in June, legislation was proposed to reflect the Committee’s report to lower the age of recognition. By September, the Government announced their intentions to publish a gender recognition bill by the end of the year.

15. BAI Upholds Complaints Against RTE’s Marriage Discussion


In August, the Broadcasting Association of Ireland upheld a complaint made by Dónal O’Latchford-Sullivan of the Family and Media Association against RTÉ’s The Mooney Show which hosted a discussion on same-sex marriage. Both guests and the presenter on a made statements supporting same-sex marriage, while the opposing argument was not represented.

16. Pantigate!

On January 11 2014, Rory O’Neill, aka Panti Bliss, appeared on RTE’s The Saturday Night Show with Brendan O’Connor and alleged that some Irish journalists were homophobic, along with a particular organisation. Almost immediately, those mentioned by O’Neill brought a lawsuit against RTE and O’Neill. RTE, through O’Connor, made a public apology two weeks later and paid money to those named by O’Neill.

On February 1, Rory O’Neill took to the Abbey Stage as his alter ego Panti Bliss and made an impassioned and eloquent speech about homophobia entitled ‘Noble Call’ which went viral. (It has almost 680,000 views as this article is posted.)

A few days later, Glenn Killane, RTE Television’s Managing Director, sent an email to his colleagues, claiming that RTE did not censor the debate but were victims of defamation laws.

Senator Averil Power took to the Seanad to bring focus upon the payment of money to those your brought the lawsuit. She stated that all voices should be heard, not just those with “the deepest pockets” and how dangerous this case is. MEP Paul Murphy took the argument to Europe and let it be known of the case of censorship ahead of the marriage equality referendum.

In light of Pantigate, Rory O’Neill has recently received RTE’s People of the Year Award and Attitude Editor’s Special Award.

© 2014 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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